This is how much it cost us to travel around South America for 1024 days

Discussion in 'Americas' started by s_gogos, Nov 19, 2020.

  1. s_gogos

    s_gogos Been here awhile

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    This is how much it cost us to travel around South America for 1024 days

    Are you wondering how much it’s going to cost you to travel around South America with your own vehicle?
    Here’s what we paid…


    As we've told many times in the past, our lifestyle is not a luxury but a choice. Of course, some preparation is needed – if you want – and some money too – at least in the beginning – but there's no need to be a millionaire or a pensioner(!) in order to ride your scooter around the world.

    The most important part is to make the decision. Then, it's good to have the will to continue and not give up at the first hardship – and when I talk about hardship, I mean hard hardship...such as eating rice and legumes for days in order to keep the budget low. Oh, and you'll be pleased to know that if there's two of you in the equation, not only will you be able to share the unique experience of the trip, but also the expenses!

    After 1024 days of everyday, meticulous record keeping, we patiently gathered all our expenses and made some very detailed charts and pies. You'll see information about the scooter's fuel consumption as well as its 2T-oil consumption and the costs (psychological ones, too) we paid at various technicians. You'll find out how many kilometers we rode on paved and on dirt roads, how many nights we spent wild camping, couchsurfing etc. You'll also see how much we spent on tolls, insurances, food, medicines... Everything!

    I hope you'll find this post interesting and useful. And most importantly, I hope that it will give you one good motive to make the decision yourselves and take the first step towards a simple and beautiful life on the road. Or at least, to take the leap and set off on a big ride around the world.

    If reading is not your thing, you can watch the video I made just for you:


    Days on the road¹: 1024

    Days spent at one place (not riding): 821 (80.2%)
    Days on the road (riding): 203 (19.8%)

    Countries visited: 7 (Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Chile)

    Number of days in each country

    [​IMG]

    Argentina: 528 (51.6%)
    Paraguay: 210 (20.5%)
    Chile: 102 (10%)
    Bolivia: 72 (7%)
    Brazil: 54 (5.3%)
    Peru: 41 (4%)
    Uruguay: 13 (1.3%)
    Airports / Airplanes: 4 (0.4%)

    Total distance traveled² : 45,099 km (28,023 mi)
    2,600 km (5.8%) on friends' cars or taxis (1,615 mi)
    390 km (0.9%) on friends' motorcycles (242 mi)
    42,109 km (93.4%) on the Vespa (26,165 mi), from which:
    37,871 km (89.9%) on paved roads (23,531 mi)
    4,238 km (10.1%) on dirt roads (2,633 mi)

    Average distance per day: 41 km (25.4 mi)
    Average distance per day counting only the days we were actually traveling: 207 km (128.6 mi)
    Average fuel consumption: 4,9 l/100km (48 mpg)
    Petrol: 2,059 litres (543.9 gal)
    2T Oil: 43 litres (11.3 gal)

    Type of accommodation

    [​IMG]
    Apartments, hostels, hotels etc: 688 nights (67.2%)
    Campsites: 133 nights (13%)
    Wild camping: 100 nights (9.8%)
    Staying at friends' houses: 83 nights (8.1%)
    Couchsurfing: 16 nights (1.6%)
    Airplanes: 4 nights (0.4%)

    Average accommodation cost 2.94€ ($3.46) per person per night
    Average campsite cost: 3.65€ ($4.30) per person per night
    Average hostel/hotel/apartment cost: 3.60€ ($4.24) per person per night

    The total of our expenses per category per person

    [​IMG]

    Accommodation: 3,005.50€ ($3,546) (30.8%)
    Supermarket³ : 2,510.10€ ($2,961) (25.8%)
    Eat out (street food, restaurants etc)⁴ : 1,362.50€ ($1,607) (14%)
    Maintenance, spare parts etc⁵ : 1,154.25€ ($1,362) (11.9%)
    Petrol: 763.35€ ($900) (7.8%)
    Tolls, insurances, paperwork etc⁶ : 242.75€ ($286) (2.5%)
    Sightseeing & transportation⁷ : 227.25€ ($268) (2.3%)
    Misc⁸ : 121.75€ ($143) (1.3%)
    Meds & doctors: 98.25€ ($115) (1%)
    2T Oil: 96.75€ ($114) (1%)
    Internet / Telephony⁹ : 91.25€ ($107) (0.9%)
    Clothing¹º : 69.25€ ($81) (0.7%)

    Daily expenses per country per person

    [​IMG]

    Uruguay: 17.12€ ($20.20)
    Chile: 14.59€ ($17.21)
    Brazil: 14.45€ ($17.05)
    Peru: 9.85€ ($11.62)
    Argentina: 8.57€ ($10.11)
    Bolivia: 8.45€ ($9.97)
    Paraguay: 7.29€ ($8.60)

    [​IMG]

    Expenses per country per person
    Argentina: 4,525€ ($5,339)
    Paraguay: 1,530€ ($1,805)
    Chile: 1,488.5€ ($1,756)
    Brazil: 780.5€ ($920)
    Bolivia: 608.5€ ($718)
    Peru: 403.9€ ($476)
    Uruguay: 222.5€ ($262)

    Grand total¹¹

    So, the total amount after 1024 days on the roads of South America (from which the 180 “trapped” in Argentina under the covid-19 lockdown) is 9,742.9€ ($11,496) per person or 9.51€ ($11.22) per person per day or 19,485.9€ ($22,993) for the two of us or 19€ ($22) for the two of us per day! Not that much, huh? Keep in mind that these numbers are based on our needs and habits. The text you just read is not a guide and its purpose is not to teach or give any advice – but now you know how little money it can cost. Maybe it gives you the “push” you need to start preparing your own trip and stop using the “but I'm not as rich as they are” excuse!


    Notes

    ¹ This is the sum of our travels in South America from January 2015 to August 2020.

    ² Airplanes not included

    ³ “Supermarket” category includes everything we buy from supermarkets, convenience stores, grocery stores etc. Food in general, that we don't intent to consume right away. If for example we stop by at a supermarket and share a sandwich, this cost will fall into the “Eat out” category.

    ⁴ “Eat out” category includes the money we spend in street food, restaurants, food in general that we consume but not prepare ourselves.

    ⁵ “Maintenance, spare parts etc” category includes the money we spend for maintaining our Vespa scooter in good shape.

    ⁶ “Tolls, insurances, paperwork etc” category includes the money we spend in toll roads, insurance for our vehicle, plus any costs related to bureaucratic procedures, like extending our visas or our Vespa's TIP or our own passports. In this category we've even included 351.1€ for the obligatory insurance and the road / registration taxes in order to have a Greek license plate.

    ⁷ “Sightseeing & transportation” category includes the money we spend on visiting national parks, museums etc. as well as on excursions, taxis, buses and all kinds of transportation without our Vespa.

    ⁸ “Misc” category includes the money we spend on anything that doesn't fall into any of the other categories. Few examples: haircuts, parking lots, gifts etc.

    ⁹ “Internet / Telephony” category includes the money we spend on buying local SIM cards and credit. The total amount in this category is relatively high, because we had to upload huge videos and many photos on our social media and keep our blog updated. Under “normal” internet use, we don't think we'd need more than ¼ of what we've spent.

    ¹º “Clothing” category includes the money we spend for buying or repairing clothes.

    ¹¹ The grand total differs from the total of the “Cost per country per person” because here we've included 351.1€ for the obligatory insurance and the road / registration taxes we pay in Greece in order to have our Greek license plate. The grand total doesn't include the Vespa's shipping costs from Africa to South America, our airplane tickets, nor any costs related to our blog (maintaining our website, buying hard drives, cameras, laptops etc).

    PS Our trip isn't over. We're just waiting in Argentina for the situation with the pandemic to get better and to be able to hit the road again!
    #1
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  2. straightrod

    straightrod Long timer

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    Fantastic information. I appreciate all the work it took to detail your expenses.
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  3. radmann10

    radmann10 Old fart Supporter

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    Thank you for posting your expenses info!

    Any of your impressions of each country would be interesting.
    #3
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  4. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

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    Wow. Great record keeping. I'm guessing that the meticulous record keeping helped you keep your expenses down.
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  5. Patch

    Patch Long timer

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    Absolutely .. it always seems to do that very thing.

    Fantastic documentation on your expenses and breakdowns. I could 'never' do that. But if I had a budget that I needed to stick to I would try.

    No where in the same ballpark as your trip, but when I go away for a week or more here in the states, folks always ask me how much I spent. Like on gas or food. I tell them I have no idea, and its true. I fill up when empty. I eat when I'm hungry.

    But the dream of traveling as you did needs to funded somehow and this is an exceptional glimpse into what that would/could look like.

    Thank you for posting :clap
    #5
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  6. s_gogos

    s_gogos Been here awhile

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    Glad you found it interesting!
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  7. s_gogos

    s_gogos Been here awhile

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    I hope it helps future travelers :-)
    You can follow THIS THREAD where I share some stories, pictures and videos from our trip.
    I'm trying to update it with more material but this post about the expenses took me a looot of time!
    Thank you for the comment!
    #7
  8. s_gogos

    s_gogos Been here awhile

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    Thank you!
    It sure did, but most important it helps plan the future of our trip ;)
    #8
  9. s_gogos

    s_gogos Been here awhile

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    Thank you for the kind words!
    Keeping track of the expenses is something very boring but when you are in a tight budget it can save your life and offer you maaany days of "freedom" as I say.
    (less expenses = more time on the road = more "freedom")
    #9
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  10. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    Thank you for posting the info here, I expected a link to a blog. This will def help people researching. I gave up tracking expenses about 3 days into my van trip, well done that is no easy feat.
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  11. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    I found it interesting that you never went to Colombia or Ecuador? Nor did you spend much time in the countries where many focus their SA MC travels such as Chile & Peru?
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  12. radmann10

    radmann10 Old fart Supporter

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    Thank you for the link to your thread it is a great read!

    Your Mount Fitz Roy photo makes me want to go there!
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  13. holckster

    holckster dougholck Supporter

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    Nice job.
    But if I kept track of motorcycle costs and travel expenses I'd never leave home.
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  14. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    Yup I build boats for a hobby and if I kept track of expenses I would probably have a heart attack. I ride with a guy who documents right to the penny, it drives me up the wall.
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  15. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

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    Thanks for this. I've read several posts documenting expenses, but this takes it to a new level.

    I'm guessing you spent quite a bit less while under lockdown compared to when you were on the road.

    Good work keeping expenses low, and keeping track of them.
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  16. s_gogos

    s_gogos Been here awhile

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    Our trip isn't over yet!
    We're just "stuck" in Argentina for the last 8 months because of the pandemic and once the borders are open we'll continue towards the north (Ecuador, Colombia etc)
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  17. s_gogos

    s_gogos Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the comment! Glad you found it useful!

    Yes, we do spend significantly less money while in lockdown. For the last couple of months for example, I calculated that we've spent about $460 both of us including everything. That's less than $4 per person per day or about ⅓ of what we normally spend while on the road!

    Cheers,
    Stergios
    #17
  18. chasbmw

    chasbmw Long timer

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    Back in the day we used to calculate spending every month or so and then work out how much time we had left at Indian or Sri Lankan spending rates......

    Got blown out of the water when we reached Singapore....
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  19. B'alam

    B'alam n00b

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    Thank you for your report. I one day plan to ride 6 months in Mexico and Central America and 6 months in South America and your report really helps!
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  20. s_gogos

    s_gogos Been here awhile

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    I'm very happy that it helps!
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